Mind & Soul Choir was founded as a way of promoting mental wellbeing and reducing some of the stigma surrounding mental illness through singing.
The choir meets every Wednesday evening from 6pm till 7pm in the gym at the Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, SE5 8AZ. No experience at all is necessary - everyone can sing. Membership is free (donations welcome) and open to staff and service users of the Maudsley, their friends, family and carers, and anyone in the area (SE5 and thereabouts) who wants to express their joy through singing, or has been in contact with mental health services. In fact, if you're not in the area but can make the rehearsals, come along. There are no auditions, and you do not need to read music.
We've performed in a variety of venues, from being the after dinner entertainment for the Florence Nightingale Foundation's gala evening to singing in John Browne's 'A Nightingale Sang' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. We sing a variety of genres from funk through pop and Motown to folk, classical, world music, swing and everything in between. We have recently performed at the Royal Opera House, the South Bank Centre and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
We made our Wigmore Hall debut in 2014 singing in the World premiere of Jocelyn Pook's 'Fanfare and Variations for Voices'. A short film made by the BBC about the piece and its performance can be found here.
We ran a pilot project in River House, a medium secure unit at the Royal Bethlem Hospital, and have recently received funding from the Big Lottery to take this work further. This is currently in development.
Our patron is the renowned singer and broadcaster, Mary King.
If you have any questions about the choir or would like to come and sing with us, please email me via the contacts page or email email@example.com for more details.
Click here to go to an interview about Mind & Soul Choir with one of our singers, Gillian Ashwood, which was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 3's The Choir on 5 January 2014.